With blue sunny skies, green grass, and trees, it may seem like a great idea to bring your workout the great outdoors in the summer. However, there are some important things to remember when you plan a workout in the heat. You want to stay cool, focused, and fit. Avoid these mistakes so you can enjoy your summer workout and reap the benefits!
Mistake 1: Working out in the afternoon. If you push your workout to the hottest part of the day, then you’re better off staying indoors or going to the gym. Working out from the hours of 10 AM until about 2 PM can push your body into heat overload. Rather than ending up with heatstroke, just plan to work out early in the morning or in the evening as the sun goes down. These are the times with the coolest temperatures, so you can work out without fear that the heat will damage your health. Also, working out at these times means less sun exposure for healthier skin.
Mistake 2: Not drinking enough water while you’re in the water. Just because you’re surrounded by water doesn’t mean you’re taking enough in to hydrate your body properly. It may seem funny to think that you could be overheated while in a pool, but it can happen. Bring plenty of water to your pool workout, and take regular water breaks to drink that water!
Mistake 3: Wearing the wrong workout clothes. Especially if it’s hot outside, you may think you’re doing yourself a favor by wearing loose-fitting clothes. But in fact, it’s just the opposite. Your best bet is to wear clothes that fit snug but aren’t constricting, or wear spandex under looser fitting clothes. Make sure when you go outdoors, you wear light-colored clothes. Dark-colored clothing absorbs the heat and makes you feel much hotter. Ditch your cotton socks, too, as they have been shown to cause blisters. Also, guys, we know you love to work out without your shirt on! Just remember if your workout takes place outdoors, you might want to put on a shirt or slather on lots of sunscreen to protect yourself from sunburn.
Mistake 4: Not eating after you work out. It may seem counterintuitive to eat after a good workout, but having a healthy snack within 30 minutes of your workout is actually very beneficial for your body. Drinking water replenishes your body, while food can help you refuel after expending all that workout energy. Just remember to eat the right kind of snack, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts or low-fat dairy.
Remember, no matter if it’s during the cold chill of winter, or the heat of summer, not listening to your own body is the biggest mistake of all! During your summer workout, drink fluids, protect yourself from the elements, and stop your workout if anything doesn’t feel right. You’ll thank yourself later if you avoid potential health problems before they occur.